Nurture Nature Center

Nurture Nature Center, located in Easton, PA, is a dynamic center for community learning about local environmental risks. Housed in a beautifully renovated, historic facility, where the staff uses a blend of science, art and dialogue programs to get the community talking and thinking critically about the local environment. Through a diverse set of programs engaging adults, families and organizations, we are helping communities to understand the science, policy and cultural implications of issues including flooding and food access, and ways they can prepare and make positive changes for the future.

Kathryn Semmens is the Science Director of the Nurture Nature Center. She holds a Ph.D. in environmental and earth sciences from Lehigh University. Kathryn’s interests focus on the nexus of science, policy, and community. Her responsibilities at NNC are to help advance the organization’s outreach efforts on scientific and environmental issues generally, with a special emphasis on floods, climate change, and social science research. She has served as P.I. on numerous grants including an IMLS funded community needs assessment, and NASA funded Science on a Sphere educational project. She serves as co-P.I. on a NOAA Environmental Literacy Grant that educates the local community about hazards and creates a shared vision of resiliency. Semmens will manage the project timeline, coordinate communication and collaboration, make sure the project is on track, oversee subawards, help with development of the PD program, recruitment of teachers, and organizing the logistics of the PD workshop to be held at NNC.

Keri Maxfield, is the Art Director of the Nurture Nature Center, has been working in the visual arts for over 25 years. Keri’s work ranges from the creative to the highly technical. She is skilled in design and visual communication of scientific data and social messaging. As Art Director, Keri is in charge of supervising and unifying the visual arts and arts education components of the Nurture Nature Center in accordance with its mission. Her interests lie in the overlap between art, science and society and she has managed five grants through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts that engage local artists and community members in creating visual art in response to local environmental issues. Maxfield will use her design expertise and experience and contacts related to arts-based teaching approaches to help develop the PD program, layout program materials, reports, and webpage, and advise on content related to the arts.

Rachel Hogan Carr is the Executive Director of the Nurture Nature Center. She holds a master’s degree in environmental policy design from Lehigh University, where she focused her research on improving flood risk communication through social science. Rachel helped to found NNC, and prior to that, worked as a community organizer and in urban real estate development. She has served as principal investigator on several flood-related research and education projects in partnership with National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In 2011, Rachel was named Distinguished Informal Science Educator of the Year by the American Meteorological Society. She serves on the boards and leadership teams of several local organizations, including the Easton Hunger Coalition and Karl Stirner Arts Trail, Inc. She also serves on professional advisory boards including: National Weather Service Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center’s Customer Advisory Board; Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Residual Risk Subcommittee of the Technical Mapping Advisory Committee; State College Weather Forecast Office Integrated Weather Impacts Team.  She has been active in Easton civic initiatives, including as a co-founder of the Downtown Neighborhood Association. Rachel is a Certified Floodplain Manager.